A few hours ago Diamond, my pet parrot (Bronze Winged Pionus, nearly 2 years old) bolted out the front door. I say "ran away" because he wasn't lost or spooked, but appears to have deliberately left in a very uncharacteristic action.
I know intelligent pets, of any species, can do that. Cats are nomadic by nature and it's no mystery that one might just feel like moving on. Dogs are territorial and strongly attached to the home and the family. When I was a child my dog sometimes got loose but it's more like she just wanted to stay out or run around more than I did, not ever going away. My sister had one dog that would get loose at any opportunity but was interested in roaming the neighborhood and was once caught (by the pound dog catcher) next door. Hey, the fact that a job called "dog catcher" even exists is suggestive.
Diamond, a parrot, lives in the house and never goes outside. He tends to keep to a few comfortable areas and doesn't just hang out or explore just anywhere: his habitat in the kitchen, the back of one couch, and a laundry drying rack (also in the kitchen). He'll sit on my shoulder, but doesn't like to join me upstairs in my home office. He never mooches or grabs food from somewhere even if plainly visible. But, flying a lap around the connected rooms downstairs is how he indicates that he wants food (or something different from what's already in his dish). I thought maybe it's instinctive in meaning that flying away from a food-depleted area to some fresh ground is a natural meaning to coordinate the flock. But, he only does that in front of me (or my wife), not whe I'm upstairs. He is getting attention by buzzing us, not getting the urge to go somewhere. (When we're not downstairs he will call for attention).
So what would posess him to just fly out the door? That is so not like him! My wife was coming upmthe walk with groceries and I opened it just as she got on the porch. Diamond was in his "castle", his primary safe place, and he just up and whoosh. I thought he must be coming to one of us, but he flew over and past her, not targeting her. Then I thought he must be just outside, scared of a strange situation: but he was nowhere to be found.
Why would a in-house pet just up and leave, against everything in his usual behavioral patterns?